The majority of the polling places visited in the Cross River State capital of Calabar had widespread voter discrimination, vote buying, and other electoral irregularities in the 2023 governorship and state house assembly elections, Entrepreneurng report.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) adhoc employees and the security operatives commenced their tasks early and were quite orderly and civil in their approach to the electorate.
Notwithstanding the almost complete absence of potential voters, INEC staff members and security officers were visible at the various voting places in Akim town’s Ward 1 units 001-005 at 7:50 a.m.
But, according to our correspondent, the voting unit and other nearby units started registering a minor increase in the number of potential voters a few minutes after he cast his ballot at the same unit at 9 am.
It was also noted that some party representatives were strategically approaching the majority of voters in other places, including Ward 7, unit 5, Ikot Ishie, also in Calabar Municipality, and offering to compensate them for voting for the respective parties.
At Ward 4, unit 15 of the State Housing Estate in the Calabar Municipality, nothing had changed. Voters did not show out in large numbers to greet the INEC staff who had arrived early for the exercise.
One of the voters, who only went by the name Agnes, suggested that the results of the last elections, which were held in February 2023, may not be unrelated to the widespread voter indifference.
She prayed that the will of the people would prevail, but she expressed satisfaction with the exercise’s calm execution. While acknowledging that the exercise was peaceful, a different respondent who only gave his name as Bamson urged INEC not to take the public’s trust for granted this time.
Without a doubt, the exercise today has been calm and orderly, but what counts is that everyone has faith in the system.
“When we look at the results of the most recent elections, we see that there is peace, but it is an uncomfortable peace. I can’t help but hold out hope for a better result in today’s activity.”
In comparison to the previous general elections that were held in the same location, voter indifference was relatively high in ward 7, unit 5.
Mr. Okon Ete, an observer in the unit, explained the predicament as being related to the results of the most recent elections while pointing out that there was still hope for his party.
Although the voting participation in today’s election is not surprising to us, we still believe that our party will prevail. The majority of our followers choose not to vote because they were unhappy with the outcome of the most recent elections, he claimed.
The PDP representative in Polling Unit 012, Ward 6, Pst. Dominic Etim, also spoke, stating that “today’s turnout is not encouraging compared to the Presidential election. Many are displeased because they believe their votes were not counted in the previous election and they still think they won’t be counted this time as captioned by https://guardian.ng/news/low-turnout-vote-buying-mar-election-in-cross-river/
Source: The Guardian